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article imageSmartphone for the blind launched

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By Tim Sandle     Jul 12, 2012 in Technology
A specially designed smartphone for blind and partially sighted people has been launched.The device has bespoke voice assisted functions.
The newly designed Smartphone has been called Georgie. The phone is not only remarkable in that it is designed for blind people to use, the designers of the device were also blind. The Smartphone was devised by husband-and-wife team Roger and Margaret Wilson-Hinds, who are based in the UK.
Among the functions are a voice-assisted touchscreen and a special variety of apps designed to assist people who are blind to complete tasks such as finding a location, reading text, and travel timetables.
According Slash Gear:
" Whereas many Android skins are a riot of buttons, scrollbars and carousels, Georgie is the polar opposite. At most there are eight buttons on-screen at any one time, with clear iconography and text – you can change the color scheme depending on what hues you might have trouble with – and each uses a system of tap-and-hold: tap, and the button’s feature is read out; hold, and after a second’s pause there’s a beep and the function is selected."
The phones are modifications of the Samsung XCover and Galaxy Ace 2 and use the Android operating system.
The phone will be sold by a not-for-profit company called Screenreader and is distributed by a company called Sight and Sound Technology. The device will retail for around $460.
Robin Spinks, principal manager for digital accessibility at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, is quoted by the BBC as saying: "Research continues to show that many blind and partially-sighted people struggle with the complexity of today's smartphone technology.
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